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Ask the Vet About Seizures (Epilepsy) in Pets

Seizures in Dogs and Cats
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About What Causes Seizures in Dogs and Cats?
Dr. Michael Dym
Dr. Michael Dym
VMD, Veterinarian
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DoctorDym.com

As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Date: 10/11/16
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Seizure

Question:My Dog Is 3 Years Old And Randomly Had A Seziure, It Lasted No More Than 1 Minute But Could It Be From Worms? He Is A Great Pyrenees Hybrid Wolf Mix. And So Far Hasn't Had Another One And.acts Like Nothing Even Happened.

Answer:Worms Can Theoretically Trigger A Seizure But This Is Very Rare In My Twenty Five Years Of Practice. Some Dogs Have No Seizures And Never Have Another One. Others Start To Seizure More Frequently At This Age, And If Seizures Recur, A Full Workup Should Be Done At Local Vet As May Need Long Term Anticonvulsant Meds Like Phenobarbitol Which Is The First Drug Of Choice If Epilepsy Diagnosed, Which Is Seizures Of Unknown Origin

Date: 09/14/16
Category: Antibiotics/Anti-Infectives
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Siezures

Question:What Is Next And Is It Fatal? My Dog Has Had 4 Seizures In 12 Hours. Blood Work Is Perfect But Her Frequent Seizures Say Otherwise.

Answer:She Needs To Be Put On Iv Anticonvulsant Medication Until Stable, Such As Phenobarbitol And/or Keppra. Short Term Control With Iv Valium May Help, But She Will Likely Need Long Term Meds Like These. Epilepsy Is Possible. You Could Also Ask Your Vet For Referral To Vet Neurologist In Your Area

Date: 07/31/16
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: 4 Year Old Golden Retriever

Question:I Have A 4 1/2 Year Old Golden Retriever, He Has Been Having Seizures For About 2 Years Now. We Brought Him To The Vet Who Said His Labs Were Good And Diagnosed Him With Epilepsy. He Said That If They Were Only Happening A Few Times A Month And Only A Minute Or Two At A Time, He Wouldn't Rec Any Treatment As The Medications Are Like Tranquilizers And He Should Be Fine Without Them. He Now Has Been Having Them More Frequently, Ie: A Few Times A Night The Last Couple Days. He Is Very Afraid Of Thunder And Fireworks Which We Have Been Dealing With A Lot This Summer. Do You Think That Stress Can Make The Seizures More Frequent? I Am Going To Bring Him Back To The Vet To Discuss Possibly Getting Him On Meds, I Don't Want That To Also Be The Reason The Seizures Get Worse, As I've Read, Leaving Them Untreated Can Make Them More Frequent Or Damage The Brain? What Med Or Supplement Do You Most Recommend For Calming During Thunder Storms/firecrackers? Also- Can Inactivity Cause More Frequent Seizures? Have You Found That The Seizure Medication Is Very Dangerous To Dogs, Like A Lot Of Side Affects? Do You Also Recommend Any Of The Omega Three Products To Help With Normalizing Brain Functions?

Answer:You Can Try Composure And/or Be Serene From 1800petmeds During Storms. I Like The Omega 3 Nordic Naturals Pet Omega 3, Given The Common Diagnosis Of Epilepsy In This Breed, I Would Strongly Recommend Returning To Vet For Appropriate Recheck And Evaluation And Getting Started On Appropriate Prescription Seizure Meds. While Any Drug Can Have Side Effects, Most Of The Time, Dogs Can Be Adequately Controlled Through Various Medications And Have Normal Lives.

Date: 06/16/16
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Partial Facial Seizures

Question:My 10 Year Old American Bulldog Started Having Facial Twitching On Friday Afternoon, By Evening It Was Getting Worse Coming Every Hour Then Every 20 Minutes, I Rang The Emergency Vet At 10:30 Was Told To Keep Him Calm( Who Was Keeping Me Calm) I Rang Back At 02:00 Was Told The Same But Demanded He Be Seen As It Was Cluster Seizures, She Gave Him Diazepams And They Finally Stopped Saturday Afternoon, Was At The Vet Sat, And Monday He Said It's Not Epilepsy Because Of His Age An Am Panicking, I Want To Pay For A Mri But The Vet Thinks Wait And See Cause Of His Age And Breathing He Wouldn't Be Able To Have Any Surgery If It Was A Tumour, I Love Him So Much He Is Such A Lovely Soul, What Should I Do?? Vet Said It Might Not Happen Again But The Stress Is Killing Me Any Advice Thankyou .

Answer:Given The Cluster Of Seizures, I Would Still Start Him On Anticonvulsant Medication And Would Ask Your Vet About This Or Get Second Opinion From Vet In Your Area. Drugs Like Phenobarbitol And/or Keppra Or Zonisamide May Be Helpful Here. While Your Vet Is Right About Mri Being Ideal, Many Clients Cant Afford That And So We Are Left With Managing The Symptoms. Sometimes Cortisone And/or Antibiotic Trials Can Treat Possible Infectious Or Inflammatory Diseases Of Brain As Well. I Would Also Avoid Vaccinations, Pesticides, Etc And Take A More Holistic Approach To His Health Care Moving Forward. To Learn More About Holistic Veterinary Medicine, See Www.doctordym.com

Date: 03/30/16
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Partial Seizures

Question:Dr. Dym, Several Years Ago My Dog Suffered What I Believed To Be A Partial Seizure. It Happened In Summertime And Again Pretty Much Every Summer, Which Made Me Think There Was Something Outdoors Causing It. However, Six Weeks Ago He Had Another One, This Time Affecting His Face And Left Leg. This Happened Again Today, Although To A Lesser Extent. I'm Having A Hard Time Believing That He's Had Epilepsy All These Years And The Seizures Have Suddenly Gone From Once Yearly To Twice In Six Weeks. I'm Worried Because Of His Age (7) That He Could Have A Brain Tumor, Though He Is Completely Fine Otherwise. We Are Over An Hour From The Closest Mri And He Is Very Fearful Of Riding In The Car. Is It Likely That He Has A Brain Tumor? Could He Have Had A Seizure Disorder All These Years, And It's Suddenly Gotten Worse? Any Insight Would Be Greatly Appreciated. His Cbc And Urinalysis Were Normal.

Answer:Excellent Questions, But Seizures Are Unpredictable, Even In Dogs With Idiopathic Epilepsy, Where They Seizure From Unknown Origin. Seizures Can Be Very Sporadic Like This In Some Patients. If Referral To Neurologist Not Possible, You May Want To Ask Your Vet To Put Dog On Anticonvulsant Medication Like Phenobarbitol. I Dont Think A Referral Is Mandatory Right Now, As He Has Not Had Any Meds Yet. Also Avoid Potential Triggers To Seizures In Susceptible Animals Such As Vaccinations, Pesticide Use, Etc

Date: 02/29/16
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Seizures At Night

Question:My 7 Year Old Boston Terrier Has Recently Been Having Seizures At Night. It Has Been More Frequently (a Couple A Week Lasting For A Few Seconds) Around The Same Time In The Evening. The Vet Said Her Lab Work Is Great And Shows She Is In Good Health (minus The Seizures). Should We Begin Seizure Medication Or Have Her Undergo A Cat Scan And Other Tests Focusing On The Brain? My Concern Is The Extreme Cost Of These Test And If It Does Show A Brain Tumor, The Options Will Be Extremely Costly With Very Little Chances Of A "cure" Thanks I'm Advance.

Answer:Most Of Time In The Clinics, I Put Pets Like This On Anticonvulsant Medication Such As Phenobarbitol Or Potassium Bromide Or Keppra. Usually We Can Get Good Control Of Seizures In Most Pets, As Most Of These Dogs At This Age And Breed Have Epilepsy And Not A Brain Tumor, Although If Seizures Persist Or Worsen, Then You Can Spend The Megabucks On Finding That Out. Idiopathic Epilepsy Much More Common In Dog This Age.

Date: 04/07/14
Category: Cough
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Frequent Bouts Of Cough With Thick Sputum Production

Question:My Pet 6yr Old Labrador Is Having Frequent Coughing With Thick Sputum Not Associated With Hemoptysis.he Is Suffering From Epilepsy Since Childhood And He Is In Continuous Medication. What Is The Reason And Treatment For This Cough

Answer:Many Possible Causes Of Cough From Allergies/inflammation To Infection, Parasites, Etc. Best To Have Vet Check, Blood Work And X Rays For Appropriate Diagnosis And Treatment Plan.

Date: 02/08/14
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Epilepsy

Question:I Have A Min Pin She Has Epilepsy She On Phonobarbital 15 Mg Twice A Day Would It Be A Good Idea To Give Her Omega 3.

Answer:Always Good To Supplement Any Pet With Chronic Disease With Omega 3. Try Missing Link From 1800petmeds.

Date: 01/03/14
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Seizures

Question:Hello! I Am Writeing You From Estoinia So I Apologize In Advance For Any Misspellings. I Have A 7 Year Old Dachshund. She Has Reacently Developed Some Kind Of Muscel Contractions Or Small Seizures. The First Time Was About 3 Weeks Back And Now Again On 29th Of Dec. She Was Acting Disoriented And Fell Over A Few Times. On The Early Morning Of 30th She Was Wandering Around The House, Sniffing And Like Looking For Something. And Then I Saw The "seizures" They Looked And Felt Like When The Dog Is Sleeping And Haveing "dog Dreams". She Wasnt Stiff. Her Head Was Like Noding A Couple Of Times And Then Pause And Then Again. It Didnt Last Very Long. Then Later That Morning She Wandered Around Again And All Of The Sudden She Started To Bark And Run To Us Like Someone Was Chasing Her. It Was Like A Scared Barking. And Some Pee Came Out Also. After A Minut Or So My Husband Calmed Her And She Was Back Her Old Self. So We Went To See Our Vet. Her First Thought Was Epilepsy. She Did Blood Work And Found Out She Has Anemia And Her Infection Counts Where Elevated. She Gave Us Phenobarbital And Rilexine. The Same Situations Ocourred Again On The Morning Of 1st - The "soft Feet" And In The Early Morning Of 2nd - The Muscel Contractions And Noding. As Far As Have Red The Symptoms For Epilepsy The Look Cosistant To My Dogs Behaviour But The Only Difference Is The Seizure. Its Not Stiff. Can This Be Something Else? Or Is It Normal That The Seizures Go On While On Pb? Can This Be Due To The Iron Deficiency?

Answer:Sometimes Seizures Can Take A While To Control On Phenobarbitol. Speak To Your Vet About Possibly Raising Doses Of Phenobarbitol Or Checking Blood Levels To See If Dose Needs To Be Adjusted. Sometimes Other Drugs Like Potassium Bromide Or Keppra Are Needed For Seizure Control As Well. Not Likely Iron Issue

Date: 11/08/13
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: I Need Help Please

Question:What Type Of Medicine Does My Dog Needs For Epilepsy Or Seizures? Thanks Dr Dym

Answer:There Are Many Types Of Seizure Meds From Phenobarbitol To Potassium Bromide To Many Others. See Vet For Exam, Blood Work And Meds If Needed.

Date: 09/06/13
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Seizure Problems

Question:My Pure Bred German Shepard Began Having Seizures Last July At A Frequency Of Once Every Three Months. Initially We Brought Her To The Vet To Who Did Blood Work And Determined She Did Not Have Epilepsy And Said To Just Watch Her. When She Had The Third One Early This Year We Called Our Vet And Asked About Medication And The Vet Said She Was Not Having Them Frequently Enough To Warrant Medication. Every Time She Has A Seizure It Is The Grand Mal Type And She Now Has Them About Once Per Month. She Knows When They Are Coming Because She Always Finds Me Or My Husband Right Before It Happens - Even Wakes Us Up In The Middle Of The Night. Any Suggestions?

Answer:If Happening More Than Once Every 6 Weeks Then I Would Recommend Asking Your Vet About Prescription Meds Like Phenobarbitol, Potassium Bromide Or Keppra. This Breed Common To Have Seizure Disorder.

Date: 04/16/13
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Seizures And Meds

Question:My Dog Who Has Epilepsy And Is On Phenobarbitol, Had A 2nd Seizure In One Month (1 Mo Apart). Should She Be On An Additional Med? She Just Had A Blood Workup And What She Is Taking Now Seemed To Suit Her, But...?

Answer:Consider Working Witn Your Vet On Adjusting Dose Of Phenobarb. Also Another Drug Like Potassium Bromide And/or Keppra May Be Appropriate. Consider Dmg Supplement From 1800petmeds As Well.

Date: 01/03/13
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Epilepsy

Question:My German Shepherd Puppy Was Diagnosed With Epilepsy At 4 Months Old. She Was Having 20-25 Focal Seizures Per Day. She Has Been Prescribed Potassium Bromide And Her Seizures Appear To Be Controlled. We Had An Electric Fence Installed The Week Before She Was Diagnosed. Our Vet Has Asked Us To Turn The Fence Completely Off. Is It Harmful To Use An Electric Fence With An Epileptic Dog?

Answer:I Have Not Heard Of Electric Fences Being A Problem For Epileptic Dogs

Date: 11/20/12
Category: Seizure Disorder
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Seisures

Question:My Llaso Apso Is 4 Yrs And Has Been Fine Till One Month Ago. Right Side Seisures 4 Times In One Month, Lethargic, Sometimes Very Hungry And Mostly Not Hungry. Drinking More And Urinating More. Hiding Under Bed. Could This Be Low Blood Sugars. Took To The Vet And He Didn't Say Too Much. Gave Immodium When She Had Diarrea Also And Antibiotic 3 Weeks Ago. Today She Has Been Having Almost Like Constant Hiccups --i'm Worried.

Answer:Does Not Sound Like Low Blood Sugar. Epilepsy Is Possible But I Would Have Full Blood Workup Including Bile Acids To Rule Out Liver Issue. If All Normal Then May Need Anticonvulsant Medicines Like Phenobarbitol Or Potassium Bromide.

Date: 10/01/12
Category: Other
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Neurologic?

Question:My Dog Stumbled Into The Room With Her Hind End Trying To Go In A Different Direction That Her Head. She Then Collapsed And Would Not Get Up. She Seemed Out Of It And Would Not Get Up With Coaxing Or Even A Treat. During This Time, She Was Shaking Slowly; Not Quick Shakes As I Have Seen Before With Seizures. This Lasted A Minute Or Two And Then She Seemed Fine. This Has Happened One Other Time Recently. Could This Be Something Neurolgical?

Answer:Neurologic Disease Is Possible Including Epilepsy Which Can Cause Seizures. If Symptoms Persist Or Recur, See Vet For Neuro Workup.

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